80-Kg Polythene Waste Removed From Cow’s Stomach After Three-Hour Surgery

The Logical Indian Crew

February 20th, 2018

Plastic waste in cow's stomach

Courtesy: Hindustan Times, The Times of India I Image Credit: Hindustan Times

Highlighting the adverse effect of plastic on the health of stray animals, doctors have removed 80-kg polythene waste from a cow’s stomach at Bihar veterinary college in Patna on Wednesday. The polythene waste was removed from a six-year-old cow by professors of surgery and radiology.

“This is the first case in my 13 years of professional practice when we removed over 80 kgs of polythene waste from the stomach of a cow,” said doctor GD Singh, assistant professor of surgery and radiology who led the surgery. He said that it had taken more than three hours to finish the surgery. “The animal is recuperating and has been discharged. But in such condition, the next 10 days are very critical as the rumen microflora becomes inactive, creating a loss of appetite. Prognosis in this type of cases is grave if they are reported very late,” he added.

Dr Singh accused owners allowing their animals graze in urban areas. “People should also avoid throwing eatables in polythene bags and serious efforts should be made to spread awareness about its bad impact on the environment,” Singh said.

Deepak Kumar the owner of the animal told Hindustan Times that the cow was not eating properly and it was left free to graze in open land. He brought the cow to the hospital when it stopped eating completely.


Plastic as threat to animals

It is a common scene in most of the large cities in India where owners allow their cattle to graze freely in open land. Cows can be seen scavenging for food in open garbage bins. Almost all food wastes and garbages are disposed of in plastic bags. Cows often eat the food leftovers including the plastic.

A study conducted by Karuna Society for animals and Nature found that the problem was even more acute in urban areas. “Apart from the plastic completely choking the digestive system of the cow and causing excruciating pain to the animal, plastic residues enter the human food chain through dairy and animal products,” the report stated.

Union environment minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday said that India would host the World Environment Day 2018 with a focus on plastic pollution and this would be a beginning of the end of the plastic pollution. “For our animals too, especially cows and other animals, so much plastic is found in their stomachs it is so hard for them,” he said in September.


Not the first time

This is not the first time that an incident like this has happened. In March 2017, veterinary doctors had removed 30 kg plastic waste from the belly of a cow at Jatlapalem village, Andhra Pradesh. Doctors had also removed iron rust, flex banners bolts, screws and nails during the surgery.

In September 2016, the doctors of Jivdaya Charitable Trust in Ahmedabad had operated a cow and found 100 kg plastic waste from its stomach.

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